A message from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit
As Simcoe Muskoka, along with the rest of the province remains in Step 3 of Ontario’s three-tiered Roadmap to Reopen, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) is reminding residents that it will only be possible to exit Step 3 and lift a majority of COVID-19 restrictions once provincial vaccination coverage targets are met. Even then, there will be higher targets to aim for, to ensure adequate community protection against the transmissible Delta variant.
As of August 9, 79 per cent of eligible individuals aged 12 and over in Simcoe and Muskoka have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and almost 69 per cent have received their second dose.
Ontario has said that to be able to leave Step 3, 80 per cent of the eligible population aged 12 and over must have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 75 per cent must have received their second, with no public health unit having less than 70 per cent fully vaccinated.
However, the eventual target locally is that 90 per cent of the whole population will be fully immunized, a level that will help provide herd immunity to protect individuals who are unable to be vaccinated, and which will take community-wide concerted effort to reach.
Vaccines are available at participating pharmacies, some primary care offices and at mass immunization clinics for both those with booked appointments and those who prefer to walk in. Health unit staff may also be providing vaccines in the community at beaches, parks, farmers’ markets, sports complexes, and outdoor retail areas, making it easier than ever to get vaccinated.
Whether at a clinic or out in the community, SMDHU staff providing vaccinations will be wearing blue COVID-19 Vaccine t-shirts and their SMDHU employee badge for identification. Residents and visitors aged 12 years and older are encouraged to add getting their COVID-19 vaccines to their summer to-do list – before the start of the school year and the arrival of cooler fall weather brings people indoors.
SMDHU reminds the public to follow current public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including staying home when feeling ill, maintaining a physical distance of at least two metres from those living outside of your household, wearing a mask indoors and outdoors when physical distancing is not possible, covering your cough, and washing your hands regularly.
To learn more about public health safety measures and reopening guidelines under Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen Step 3, visit smdhu.org/covid19.
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